Today I would like to share some thoughts about communication. We all communicate and we cannot not do it, no matter how hard we try. Even if you solemnly swear to remain silent until the end of your days – this decision of yours will still transfer a certain message to world out there. Like for example: I am fed up with all of it. Leave me alone.
Many of us think communication only happens when you speak. In fact, all our body, including what we wear, how we walk, what place we go to for lunch and what we post online – all of this is sending encoded messages to the outer world.
Even though I love spending quality-time with myself from time to time, I also communicate a lot. And I have many different audiences – just like all of you have. When I wake up in the morning, I speak to myself. I listen to my feelings and try to make sense why my mood isn’t as good as it could be. Self-reflection is one of my favorites.
When I wait for the bus outside, I also communicate with other people standing at the bus stop through the way I position myself next to them in relation to where the bus will most probably be stopping.
At work I talk to (or ignore) colleagues and hence am sending out loads and loads of messages. Sometimes I need to get facts across; sometimes I just aim for an emotional exchange like a smile or a joke.
When I come home, I have family to communicate to (be it over the phone or in person) and here I have a different role to fulfill and I take on a different manner of communication.
Communication is so multifaceted; it makes me dizzy at times.
I wanted to list some tips to consider when communicating in general. So take a brief look at the below:
1. Your hidden agenda (yes, you have one.)
You will have a great advantage, if you know what exactly your message is before communicating. Ask yourself:
Do I want to transmit dry facts about something that happened?
Do I want to share my feeling about something that happened?
Do I want to hurt the other person and am looking for means to do so?
Do I want to be considered funny?
Do I want revenge?
What you say and how you say it, will greatly vary depending on what your hidden agenda is.
2. Who are you, anyway?
Even if people don’t always want to be your audience, sometimes you can’t escape an angry granny shouting in the metro. Before communicating back to her, consider:
What is the age of the person?
What are his beliefs?
What culture does he come from?
Do you have a relation with this person? If yes, what sort of relation? Work? Family? Friend? Stranger in metro?
What could happen, if you will be misunderstood?
Does he have a hidden agenda for himself?
Of course, it is not possible to be always doing this much of thinking before spontaneously voicing what you think of that granny swinging her heavy bag above your head, but the more often you will bring this to your mind, the easier it will eventually become.
3. Do. Not. Interrupt. The. Other. Person.*
* I have a hard time with this. Especially when I am over-boarding with emotions all I want to do, is tell, tell, tell, no matter what the other person has to say. Don’t do this, unless you are chatting away with your girlfriends and all of you have the same manner of interrupting and still listening to each other. Women are great at this. Ask Allan Pease.
4. Be all (b)ears
Listening is my favorite component of communication. I love listening to people, and people love speaking about themselves. One way of the other, we all like to speak about ourselves, don’t deny it. If done properly [listening, I mean], you get so much information about the other person, just by listening carefully. Next time when listening to someone, watch out for the following:
Establish and maintain eye contact. Important here: don’t overdo it. Staring into someone’s eyes can be – depending on the context of your situation – taken as an intimate move.
Nod to encourage the person to continue.
Ask detailing questions.
Try to arouse genuine interest for what the other person has to say. You will find that any person will have something interesting to share.
This should be it for the first portion. I am 100% sure I will find myself writing about communication soon enough again.
And a last tip for the desert:
5. What do I do in case of doubt?
Remain silent and smile. It just adds that enigmatic bit of grandeur to oneself.
Thanks for stopping by and see you soon!